Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow and Chocolate

Yesterday most of Oklahoma was blanketed with at least 6 inches of snow on top of an inch of ice that covered surfaces the day before. Along with the Christmas Eve Blizzard of 2009, there has been a bumper crop of snow and ice this winter.

There is something about cold weather and being snowed in that creates within me a craving for chocolate. An online search for a chocolate cake yielded Tish Boyle's Diner Desserts and a recipe for Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake. This recipe, with the addition of brown sugar, cocoa, sour cream, and ice water, is nicely crumbed and moist and has that perfect balance of sweet and chocolate that appeased my craving for chocolate but brought a new addiction of its own.
The. best. chocolate. cake. I. have. ever. baked.

Now I am on the hunt for a copy of Diner Desserts, which is out of print. I did make minor modifications to the recipe, which I have noted below, and I made a scaled-down version of this cocoa-based frosting from instead of the Fudge Frosting listed with the original recipe.

Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake
modified from the original by Tish Boyle

2-2/3 cups unbleached flour
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream, room temperature (I used yogurt from a local dairy
1 tablespoon vanilla
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1/2 cup corn oil (I used canola oil)
1-1/4 cups ice water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter bottom and sides of two 8-inch round cake pans. Dust pans with flour and tap out excess.

In medium bowl, sift together and then whisk flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Set aside.

In mixing bowl, use paddle attachment (or beaters) on low speed to beat melted butter and oil till blended. Beat in water. Add dry ingredients all at once and mix on low speed about 1 minute, till blended. Scrape down sides of bowl and add egg mixture; mix about 1 minute, till blended. Scrape batter into pans.

Bake about 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes, then invert onto racks and cool completely.

Frost cake with your favorite chocolate frosting.